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Dietary Supplement Experts Receive "CRN Apple" Awards
The “CRN Apple” awards were presented at the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s (CRN) Annual Symposium on Dietary Supplements, held at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, October 3-6, 2007.1 The recipients were Mark Blumenthal of the American Botanical Council (ABC), Randi Neiner, PhD, of Shaklee Corporation, and Carolyn Sabatini of Pharmavite LLC.

The “CRN Apple Award” is a prestigious symbol of excellence in the dietary supplement industry. It is a softball-sized apple made of Steuben crystal that has a market value of $550.2 (Note: Steuben is a world-famous designer that manipulates glass into highly-artistic pieces.)

“Like the old-saying goes, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away,’” said Season Solorio, director of CRN’s public relations (e-mail, October 10, 2007). “The ‘CRN Apple Award’ was created with the idea that, like an apple, dietary supplements are an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition.”

These awards are given annually to individuals with a history of dedication, commitment, and service to CRN and the dietary supplement industry.1 Candidates are selected by the CRN staff.

“A few people immediately rise to the top of the list, due to their outstanding involvement and dedication,” said Solorio. “[Recipients] usually do not know that they are receiving the apple until it is presented to them at the annual conference.”

Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the ABC, has almost 40 years of expertise in herbs, medicinal plants, and natural products. He is the editor and publisher of HerbalGram, and the senior editor of 3 highly-regarded references on herbs for health professionals: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines (ABC/Integrative Medicine Communications, 1998), Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs (ABC/Integrative Medicine Communications, 2000), and The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs (ABC, 2003). He is also a coauthor of Rational Phytotherapy: A Reference Guide for Physicians and Pharmacists, 5th ed. (Springer-Verlag, 2004). He has written hundreds of articles and book reviews in numerous professional, trade, and consumer publications and was formerly an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Pharmacy. CRN noted that Blumenthal has also served as a consultant for CRN on the scientific and clinical literature on botanicals sold in the dietary supplement industry.

“Blumenthal provides a scientific voice of reason for the botanicals,” said Solorio. “[This] clearly makes him a unique candidate and a very important player within the dietary supplement industry.”

Dr. Neiner is the director of market research at the Shaklee Corporation where she has worked for 15 years. This nutrition company, founded in 1956, made one of the first biodegradable household cleaners and claims to be the first company in the world to obtain Climate Neutral™ certification, which reduces CO2 emissions to better the environment.3 Dr. Neiner is responsible for managing competitive intelligence reporting and delivering fact-based, relevant, and actionable research findings to her Shaklee clients. Dr. Neiner has been involved with CRN since the 1980s and now serves as the chairperson for CRN’s Industry Research Subcommittee, leading the research behind the CRN Consumer Confidence Survey.

For 17 years Carolyn Sabatini has worked for Pharmavite, LLC, a company founded in 1971 that manufactures the Nature Made® brand of vitamins, minerals, supplements, and herbs.4 According to Pharmavite, Nature Made® is the leading brand in food, drug, mass market, and buyers’ club stores in the United States. Sabatini is currently the director of government and corporate relations. Prior to this position, which she has held for seven years, Sabatini was a senior product manager for Nature Made® and director of national accounts at Pharmavite. Sabatini has been involved with CRN since 2000, serving first on the media relations committee and then, for the past four years, as chair of the CRN Government Relations Committee. During this time she worked for the passage of the Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act in December 2006.

Sabatini said she was “absolutely” surprised to receive the award (e-mail, October 10, 2007). “I was thrilled that Mark [Blumenthal] received his award, only to be doubly surprised when I was called up after him! I feel very honored to be included with such outstanding contributors to our industry.”

—Kelly E. Saxton
  1. Educators, Experts Honored at CRN 2007 Annual Conference [press release]. Washington, DC: Council for Responsible Nutrition; October 5, 2007.

  2. Steuben Glass. Achievement page. Steuben Glass Web site. Available at Accessed October 10, 2007.

  3. Shaklee Corporation. What we’re about page. Shaklee Corporation Web site. Available at Accessed October 10, 2007.

  4. Pharmavite LLC. Our Brands page. Pharmavite LLC Web site. Available at Accessed October 10, 2007.